‘I had a terrible life. I just kept going’ – The trauma and triumph of rock icon Tina Turner

US News

“Look what I have done in this lifetime, with this body,” said Tina Turner, in a documentary released about her life in 2021. “I’m a girl from a cotton field, that pulled myself above what was not taught to me.”

Tina Turner‘s life was a story of trauma and triumph – she was the star known for her energetic stage performances and her incomparable soulful, husky voice, who overcame several personal and professional struggles to become the Queen of Rock ‘n Roll.

Following her death at the age of 83, tributes have been paid to a “legend”, an “icon” and a “remarkable force of nature,” from fellow music stars to the White House, with clips of her biggest hits – including Proud Mary, Nutbush City Limits, The Best, We Don’t Need Another Hero, and What’s Love Got To Do With It – flooding social media.

‘The world loses a legend’ – tributes to Tina Turner

You Might Like

Throughout her career, Turner won a total of 12 Grammys and was a two-time inductee into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame, as a solo artist and as part of the duo she formed with ex-husband, Ike Turner, in the 1960s.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Tina Turner sings The Best

She was the first woman to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone and a record breaker – previously holding the Guinness World Record for the largest paying audience for a solo performer, attracting an audience of 180,000 for her show at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1988.

And she also inspired an award-winning musical based on her incredible life – the story of the star who achieved stratospheric success, including sales of more than 100 million records worldwide, after overcoming years of abuse from both her father and ex-husband, and pushback from those who told her she could not make it as a solo star.

More on Tina Turner

Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee, on 26 November 1939, to parents Zelma Priscilla and Floyd Richard Bullock. At the age of 11, she moved to live with her grandmother after her mother left her abusive relationship with her father.

Tina and Ike Turner performing in 1966.  The couple had a famously violent relationship which eventually broke down after years of domestic abuse Pic: AP
Image:
Tina with her abusive ex-husband and musical partner Ike Turner in 1966. Pic: AP

Aged 16, she joined her mother and sister Alline in the city of St Louis in Missouri, which is where she encountered her future husband for the first time.

She soon joined his band The Kings Of Rhythm as its first female member – and when she reimagined herself as Tina Turner in 1960, the group reformed to become the Ike And Tina Turner Revue.

That same year, Turner gave birth to their first child Ronnie and the couple wed in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1962. Ronnie was her second child; her first, Craig Raymond Turner, was with the saxophonist for the Kings Of Rhythm, Raymond Hill.

Tina Turne is presented with a chocolate sculpture of one of her legs,  which she famously claimed to have insured for $3.2million. Pic: AP
Image:
Turner’s famous legs were reportedly insured for millions. Pic: AP

The group produced a string of RnB hits, including A Fool In Love and It’s Gonna Work Out Fine, but it was the release of River Deep – Mountain High in 1966 that saw their popularity soar around the world. The release was followed by a UK tour with The Rolling Stones as the band’s support act.

Songs such as Come Together, Honky Tonk Woman and Proud Mary helped cement their status, with the latter winning them a Grammy in 1972.

But behind the scenes, Turner was enduring abuse at the hands of her husband.

She stayed with him until 1976, but later revealed she had attempted suicide during their relationship. “I simply couldn’t take any more,” she wrote in her 2018 memoir, of the moment she hit rock bottom.

Flowers lie across US singer Tina Turner's Hollywood Walk of Fame Star in Los Angeles.
Image:
Flowers were left on her Hollywood Walk of Fame star following news of her death

During their divorce, she reportedly asked for nothing more than the right to keep the use of her stage name, and she went on to reinvent herself as a solo star.

It wasn’t easy, with a slow start for debut album Tina Turns The Country On! in 1974, followed by Acid Queen in 1975, but Turner pushed back against those who told her that, as a black woman approaching 40, she would never make the transition to rock.

Read more:
Simply The Best: Tina Turner in pictures

Tina Turners most streamed songs

  • 1. The Best
  • 2. What’s Love Got To Do With It?
  • 3. Proud Mary
  • 4. What’s Love Got To Do With It? (with Kygo)
  • 5. River Deep Mountain High (with Ike Turner)
  • 6. We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)
  • 7. Nutbush City Limits (with Ike Turner)
  • 8. Private Dancer
  • 9. It’s Only Love (with Bryan Adams)
  • 10. Proud Mary (with Ike Turner)

Throughout the 1980s, she rebuilt her career, with a string of hits starting in 1983 with a cover of Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together, and the 1984 release of her album Private Dancer. Her most recognisable song, a cover of The Best, was released in 1989. By then, her image of big hair and mini-skirts had become iconic, her famous legs becoming almost as famous as her distinctive voice.

In 1986, Turner was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Her first induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame, for her work with Ike, came in 1991, though neither attended the ceremony. Her induction as a solo artist came some 30 years later, in 2021.

“If they’re still giving me awards at 81, I must have done something right,” she said in a recorded acceptance speech.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Turner on recognition and achievements

She was inducted by Angela Bassett, the actress who portrayed Turner in the 1993 film What’s Love Got To Do With It. Both Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, who played Ike, were nominated for Oscars for their performances.

“Imagine, a black girl from Nutbush, Tennessee, who embodied more talent than her small town could have ever dreamed,” Bassett said at the Hall Of Fame ceremony. “Imagine that same girl breaking through every barrier to one day make history.

“People still tell me how much Tina has meant to them. I know exactly what they mean, because she has meant that much and more to me. I too am one of those people blessed by Tina’s remarkable gift to inspire.”

In the 1990s, Turner joined the list of Bond musicians, voicing the title song for Pierce Brosnan’s Goldeneye.

Mick Jaggar and Tina Tuner play together during a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame show in New York January 18, 1989.
Image:
Sir Mick Jagger and Turner at a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame performance in 1989

After a brief break from showbusiness, she returned to the limelight in 2008 at the Grammy Awards, where she performed Proud Mary alongside Beyonce. Other notable duets through her career included performing with David Bowie, and with The Rolling Stones during Live Aid in 1985.

In 2008, she embarked on her 50th-anniversary tour, and in 2016 she announced Tina – The Tina Turner Musical.

In 2021, she sold the rights to her back catalogue after reaching an agreement with BMG for an undisclosed sum, and the last of her 34 UK Top 40 hits was released in 2020, when she re-recorded What’s Love Got To Do With It with Norwegian DJ Kygo.

Turner said she signed up to assisted suicide group Exit
Image:
Turner and her husband at the opening night of the Tina musical in April 2018

Turner’s solo works include 10 studio albums, two live albums, two soundtracks and five compilations, which together have sold more than 100 million records. As well as her music, Turner also starred in films including Tommy in 1975, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985, and Last Action Hero in 1993.

In her personal life, she met music producer Erwin Bach in the 1980s and the pair married years later on the banks of Lake Zurich in Switzerland, where they lived. In 2013, Bach saved her life by donating her one of his kidneys, she revealed in her memoir in 2018.

She faced heartache that year, when her eldest son Craig died by suicide, and again in 2022 when her second son Ronnie died of cancer.

Pic: AP
Image:
Pic: AP

Known for her strength and resilience throughout her life, in an interview with the New York Times in 2019, she said: “I don’t necessarily want to be a ‘strong’ person. I had a terrible life. I just kept going.”

Turner always kept going.

And in what must have been one of her last interviews before she died, she told The Guardian exactly how she wanted to be remembered – as the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll. “A woman who showed other women that it is okay to strive for success on their own terms.”

Articles You May Like

Vince McMahon is taking vacations and in touch with Trump as WWE tries to move on from scandal-plagued ex-CEO
Want a Faith-Filled Nation Back? Build the Family
‘Special Treatment’? Politico Legal Editor Claims Legal System Is Too Nice to Trump
HOLY CRAP: Joe Biden Approved Iran’s Assault on Israel ‘Within Certain Limits’
Worshiping with the Christian Insurgents in Myanmar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *